POST: 'How to Get Into Buildings' - awe and intrigue
What's it about?
How To Get Into Buildings is a play about the seemingly minuscule but interconnected experiences between three different groups of people, shown in exploded view so that different parts are seen at the same time.
What'd I experience?
I'm going to start off being completely honest, I have no idea what the hell was going on in that show. It was really weird, like the kind of weird where you sit back in a kind of perverse awe and intrigue. I'm not even sure if my little synopsis up there is actually accurate at all. That being said, I was still able to really enjoy myself.
For me, the weird experience started way before the show began. Not only did I not realize the show was in Brooklyn, but the area of Brooklyn it was in looked like an exact copy of my neighborhood. It even had the same kind of Ice Cream store around the corner. The theater itself though had this really cool vibe about it. The entrance looked like a backstage door and there was just a small plaque next to it that read "The Brick." Admittedly, I walked passed it multiple times while I was trying to find the place. The inside also had a similar, weirdly exclusive feel to it, and the small number of seats gave it a really intimate feel which is always enjoyable for me.
The weirdness though, really started when the rest of the audience came in. About 80% of the seats were reserved under the same name, and when everyone showed up it seemed like the entire audience except for the two people next to me knew each other, which at this point I'm not sure if it was part of the play or not because I honestly would not be surprised. Plus the before show playlist of INXS and Depeche Mode was setting a very interesting mood.
The play started, and it took about 30 seconds before I was already saying "what." It opened with a car crash, which was really just four of the actor colliding in slow motion, but then it turned into what I think was a game of Twister? and one of the actors may or may not have been pretending to be a fish? When the paramedics showed up (who, by the way, were wearing chef hats) they described the crash saying how the cars collided with a fish transport truck, and while describing the injuries one of the paramedics was fixated on the fact that none of the Red Snapper survived the crash (which apparently turned out to be way more important then anyone would think).
Here's what I definitely know about the play. There was an author writing a book called the Car Accident, loosely based on the love life of the editor of the book and that was widely received and was "about so much more than a car accident." There were two people who were falling in love, the man was named Roger and he was putting on a presentation at an unnamed convention, and Lucy, who was attending a different convention, but not Comic Con or the Prosthetic Limbs convention (and was also repeatedly receiving phone calls from this mysterious organization, but we'll get to that later). There was a married couple who hated each other, The man was named Nick and he was a chef, and the woman whose name escapes me and was an editor, and they existed inside of the author's book. Lastly, and most importantly, the restaurant was out of the Red Snapper.
Now for all the things I'm uncertain about. Were Roger and Lucy also part of the book? Because when the author was reading his book out loud their story was in it, but it was Roger's presentation that the author attended which gave him the idea for the book. Was Roger actually the Silver Surfer? Was Time travel involved? Was Lucy actually involved in the car accident and given a new body? What was that organization that kept calling Lucy and what did they provide? I mean with a donation of only $10 a month they give you a small key that opens a small lock that you may or may not find one day (that for some reason played the secret finding sound from The Legend of Zelda), and for a $25 donation they send you your very own brick with your name on it, but what was all the talk about oxidization not being complete on the arms and legs? Who lost the old western shootout in the end? What the hell did I just watch?
Despite all this confusion, I actually did have a great time. The whole show had an almost Monty Python sketch vibe with how random it was at times, and being a huge Monty Python fan made that very enjoyable. And to the show's credit, there actually was a section on how to get into buildings, which happened to be what Roger's presentation was on. Th whole thing was pretty genius, just dress as a pizza guy, get a pizza box (whether or not it's empty is up to you), show up at a building and say you "have a pizza for so and so on whatever floor" and you're pretty much in. And every time he changed a slide in his powerpoint presentation, he would point the remote like a gun and fire it off with a gunshot sound, which I'm going to make sure I do from now on in everyone of my presentations.